Generating settlement structures: a method for urban planning and analysis supported by cellular automata
Previous models for the explanation of settlement processes pay little attention to the interactions between settlement spreading and road networks. On the basis of a dielectric breakdown model in combination with cellular automata, we present a method to steer precisely the generation of settlement structures with regard to their global and local density as well as the size and number of forming clusters. The resulting structures depend on the logic of how the dependence of the settlements and the road network is implemented to the simulation model. After analysing the state of the art we begin with a discussion of the mutual dependence of roads and land development. Next, we elaborate a model that permits the precise control of permeability in the developing structure as well as the settlement density, using the fewest necessary control parameters. On the basis of different characteristic values, possible settlement structures are analysed and compared with each other. Finally, we reflect on the theoretical contribution of the model with regard to the context of urban dynamics.